This Park offers a spectacular cave system; fossil sites and plenty of above ground activities. We can tailor our learning programs to suit your needs.
The park is perfect for a winter excursion, most activities are below ground and the temperature in the caves remains steady all year round. Our adventure caving program is a fantastic team building activity that fosters the development of a positive and supportive group and can be tailored for most age groups.
Above ground, there are plenty of free outdoor activities for any season:
- Bushwalking; view the original cave entrance from above along the walking trails and see the cave floor approximately 7 metres below your feet.
- Flora themed walks that include orchids and fungi
- Bird watching (bird list and bird identification book in the visitor centre, BYO binoculars)
- Wildlife watching (ask our staff about wildlife identification sheets and a ‘scats and tracks’ book in the visitor centre).
It is important that your students know the appropriate behaviour when they are visiting caves:
- touching cave formations is not permitted
- eating and drinking in the caves is not permitted
- cameras and handheld devices with flashlights can be used
- hand rails near steps and ramps should be used
- suitable footwear should be worn in caves (no sandals or thongs).
Please note that our guides will facilitate learning programs, but the behaviour management of students is the teacher’s responsibility.
Teachers must also inform guides of any prior injuries or medical conditions that students may have (e.g. asthma, epilepsy, allergies), and bring appropriate medication. This is particularly important for adventure caving.
Students and parents
You will have a great time on your visit to the Kelly Hill Caves. There’s so much to see, do and learn here, we know you’ll love it.
Here are some packing suggestions:
- clothing suitable for the time of year, and strong non-slip shoes
- water bottle
- summer: hat and sunscreen
- winter: extra warm layers
- adventure caving: strong non-slip shoes with grip, long sleeve shirts and trousers or overalls
- any medications you need.
Note: the temperature in the caves remains constant at 16 degrees Celsius all year round.
Show Cave Tour
Join your guide for a walk through spectacular chambers filled with stalagmites, stalactites, helictites and flowstones. Witness small amounts of water as you walk around the very dry cave environment and learn about the geology of the area. Discover the way our caves were formed, how stalactites grow, how to tell the difference between a stalactite and a stalagmite plus much more. Let your imaginations go wild and see the cave come to life.
Learn about the European history of the caves, early discoveries, tours and cave conservation.
Speak to us when you book about how you’d like us to tailor the tour whether we focus more on geology, fossils, cave formations or the European history of the area.
The show cave area is a developed area of the cave with stairs, concrete pathways and electric lighting.
Allow approximately 40 minutes.
If you’ve never tried adventure caving before, it can seem a bit daunting at first. You will not be forced into places where you don’t feel safe, and there will be lots of opportunity to practice how to move safely through the caves. You will leave feeling a great sense of achievement!
The adventure caving program at Kelly Hill Caves is a great opportunity for students to experience the underground in a safe, fun, educational environment. Adventure caving is a totally different experience to walking through a fully lit show cave and all care is taken to ensure that participants are aware of the environment that they are in.
Kelly Hill Caves Conservation Park runs an adventure caving program that is both fun and educational. We use an extension of the show cave that follows the old 1920s tour path. This area of the cave requires some climbing and crawling however no rope work is involved. The cave is dry with no running or standing water in it.
The objectives of adventure tours are to allow you the opportunity to experience an undeveloped cave, where there is no defined path, no infrastructure, no fixed lighting and to gain an appreciation of the cave environment. Some time is spent describing the physical features of the cave, how the cave was formed and how they can be conserved. Participants are given the chance to extend themselves both physically and mentally, with all smaller tunnels and squeezes optional with no pressure to participate in these.
The tour includes a crawl past a palaeontogy site where your guide will inform you of Kangaroo Island’s rich fossil history that includes megafauna and several glacial maximums. If you are lucky, palaeontologists may even be on-site while you are on tour.
Over one hundred different species of fossils have been found so far at Kelly Hill Caves including wallabies, rodents, snakes, the Kangaroo Island emu, sthenurus kangaroos, echidna and goanna. The most common identified species so far is the bridled nail-tailed wallaby no longer found on Kangaroo Island and currently listed as endangered on mainland Australia. Students will have the opportunity to view, touch and try to identify fossils. For information on identifying fossils see our downloadable fact sheet below.
Supervision is provided by experienced staff members who are fully trained and have conducted many of these tours. Comprehensive safety information is given prior to entering and whilst in the cave. This information will explain that you are entering a dark environment and that you will need to watch where you are placing your feet as the floors may be uneven. Cavers will be required to stay within the group and observe the safety instructions given by the guide at all times. Helmets with lights are provided but you must ensure that you are wearing appropriate clothing and footwear; either runners, walking boots or work boots. NO skate shoes, high heels or open toed shoes. As an extra safety provision, group sizes are limited for each adventure caving trip and children must be eight years of age or over. It is a requirement that a staff member from the school also participate.
All Kelly Hill Caves staff have current first aid certificates, working with children clearances and carry spare batteries and supplementary light sources.
Extensive safety procedures are in place, such as an “exit time” procedure where a group that is overtime will trigger a series of checks, which may result in the notiifying emergency personnel if necessary.
Allow approximately 2 hours.
To book your school visit
Kelly Hill Conservation Park is closed until further notice due to impacts of bushfire.
Visitor information. bookings and park management:
Kingscote Natural Resources Centre
Phone: (+61 8) 8553 4444
Medical, fire (including bushfire) and police emergency situations
Phone: Triple Zero - 000
Phone: 131 444 for non-urgent police assistance
National Parks and Wildlife Service SA – After-hours duty officer
Phone: 0477 334 898
Within the park
Please contact Kingscote Natural Resource Centre on (08) 8553 4444 or the after-hours duty officer on 0477 334 898.
Outside of the park
Please contact a local wildlife rescue group.
If you find a sick or stranded marine mammal (including whales, seals, sea lions and dolphins), please contact Kingscote Natural Resource Centre on (08) 8553 4444 or the after-hours duty officer on 0477 334 898.